Unknown Sonoma by Dan Berger, august 1996
Random Ridge: Surfer Bill Hawley began to make wine a decade ago from his own six-acre vineyard high in the Mayacamas Mountains. The vineyard, now 10 acres, is on Mount Veeder, accessible through a remote Sonoma Valley road. "The Napa/Sonoma county line goes right through my property; my house is in both counties," he says.
Hawley's production, including a joint venture with Wellington, is 700 cases. The Random Ridge red wine is a 50-50 Cabernet Sauvignon/Franc blend; Wellington uses Random Ridge as a vineyard designate. About 90 percent of Hawley's wine is sold "within an hour's drive of my home." He also makes Old Wave Zinfandel from a 90-year old Sonoma Valley vineyard and a tiny amount of Cloudbreak Chardonnay.
Hawley moved here in 1972 to attend Sonoma State University (and wrote a thesis on the influence of Zen Buddhism on the San Francisco school of poetry), built his own home, hand-embellishes each wine label, farms all the grapes he uses.